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When do you suppose an honest tax discussion will occur in Hanford, Lemoore, and Kings County? One Hundred and eleven local tax measures appear throughout the state: sales, parcel, marijuana, utility, hotel, parks & recreation, etc. But the driver is never disclosed. The underfunded California Public Employees and State Teachers Retirement System (CALPERS/CalSTRS) need recovery from a decade of dim growth. Lemoore’s recent audit, glossed over nicely by the “Recall/Censure Holly Blair,” provided Lemoore’s dim CALPERS/CalSTRS future.

With $10 million in assets and reserves, but only $3.3 million clearly available, a prior meeting disclosure of a $282K shortfall in revenue, Lemoore faces a steep uphill CALPERS/CalSTRS climb. The auditor disclosed if retirement organizations used a generous 8.65 assessment figure, Lemoore would only be $5.7 million short. Yet a 7.65 assessment produces a $10.6 million shortfall while a tawdry 6.65 assessment produces a $16.3 million shortfall.

But no worry - Ms. Blair’s 'no help' mouth and Facebook are the real problem. At the prior meeting the City fathers could have stated valid reasons for a One Percent Sales And Use Tax. Did they? No. So when do you think Lemoore will face squarely the tax problem created by their predecessors (perhaps some of current incumbents) who provided overly generous retirement to employees while just “letting the good times roll”? Will the Council and City Manager ever actually discuss their plan to mitigate – other than tax you more into the General Fund so they disguise the problem? Stand by for the next dodge. It’s coming.

                                                                                                Gary Smith


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